The 5 Tasks You Should Do Before You Grocery Shop

Grocery shopping is a once a week occurrence in our home, but it is the tasks that happen before grocery shopping that impact the trip the most.

Here are the 5 tasks you should do before you grocery shop.


Take Inventory. Open your refrigerator, your cupboards, and your pantry, so you can take stock of available items. As you look through these areas you will not only notice what you need, you might also possibly gain inspiration for meal planning.


Clean Out the Fridge. While taking inventory of your fridge you can also use this time to toss out any unwanted and spoiled items. Last week’s chicken dish shoved in the back corner? Toss it. Moldy carrots in your vegetable drawer? Toss them. I don’t like to waste food, but we all know that some items don’t get used and go bad. Take this opportunity to make some space in your fridge before you come home with a pile of new groceries.

Meal Plan. Since you took inventory you have a better idea of what’s available to you, ingredient-wise. Use the items you do have available, the sales you find in your local store flyer, and any recipes you have or find to create a basic meal plan for the week.


*If you want to read more about meal planning, you can find all my previous posts here. I promise, it’s easier than you think.

Make Your Shopping List. Now that you know what meals you are cooking for the week, you can create your shopping list. Don’t rely on your memory when it comes to shopping in the store and don’t use the store as “inspiration” for meals. A list keeps you organized and on-task.

Search for Coupons. I used to do much more couponing than I do now, but I still try to save money when I can. I usually have a few physical coupons found in a local circular. Sometimes I print a few coupons. I definitely use a lot of online coupons. I often shop at a store that has their own online coupons, so I always browse their app and click coupons before heading to the store.

*Have you tried Ibotta? You can scan your receipts and receive cash for certain purchases. Click my referral link to receive your $10 welcome bonus!!

Once these 5 tasks are done you can head to the grocery store knowing you have done the necessary prep work.

What about you? What tasks do you do before heading to the store? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,


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Spring Picture Books

Happy Spring!

The calendar might say it’s spring, but where I live it is in the 30s today. All the more reason to dive into spring-themed picture books!

Today I am sharing 4 picture books that celebrate spring.


(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)


SPRING An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur
This author has written an acrostic book for each season, and I think we have read them all! This book is poetic, uniquely descriptive, and filled with sweet illustrations.


Butterfly House by Eve Bunting
This book tells the sweet story of a young girl who rescues a caterpillar and creates a home for it to live in while it makes its transformation. It’s also a lovely generational story about a grand daughter and her grandpa. The last page includes instructions on how to raise a butterfly of your own.


Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
Waiting for Wings is another butterfly story for the spring. This book is very colorful, and the story is simple. I couldn’t help but think of Eric Carle books (in particular, The Very Hungry Caterpillar) as I read this one.


Mama, Is It Summer Yet? by Nikki McClure
After spring comes summer, so perhaps spring (for some) is just a lot of waiting for an even more beloved season. That seems to be the theme of this story by Nikki McClure. The child in this story repeats the same question and her mom responds with a “not yet” and some descriptive words about spring.


I shared these 4 books with 2 of my children and asked them to tell me which one was their favorite.

My almost-4 year old’s favorite was SPRING The Alphabet Acrostic because of the “babies” (humans & animals) that were mentioned on a couple pages. My 10 year old’s favorite was The Butterfly House.

If it’s warm where you are, grab one of these books and soak in some sunshine while you share a story that celebrates spring!

If it’s not warm, well, you can still grab one of these books and perhaps do a little make-believe.

What about you? Is it spring-like where you are?

Until next time,


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The 1 Household Chore I Try to Do Every Day

Some days I’m tired. Sometimes my kids are sick. I have days when most of my morning is spent outside the home. Many times my day does not go as planned.

In the midst of these types of situations (and more) there is 1 household chore I try to do every day.


(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)

Every day I try to do 1 load of laundry.

Each morning I start a load of laundry while my kids are eating breakfast, and we’re all getting ready for the day. Later that morning I move the laundry to the dryer, and I fold it then (or certainly by the end of the day).


I try to do 1 load of laundry every day for 2 main reasons:

  1. It’s a good way to stay on top of the laundry situation. And we all know laundry is definitely a situation!
  2. If I get to the end of the day and have accomplished no other household task, I can feel good about having at least completed this 1 thing!

Maybe number 2 is a little bit of a mental game I play with myself, but I truly like knowing that even if my day “falls apart”, I did a load of laundry.

More Thoughts on Laundry
  • Everyone has to find their own groove. I like to share my tips and ideas, and I also like reading about other laundry routines. Ultimately, we have to do what works for our families.
  • Listening to a podcast, audio book or music is a great way to pass the time while folding laundry.

(my most recent “listen”)

  • These mesh bags are my favorite things to use on delicates and “hand wash only” items. In fact, I wrote a post about them. (Yesterday, we washed my daughter’s Duplo legos in them.)
  • Drying racks come in handy, too. Because we heat our home with a wood stove our clothes dry quite quickly on our drying rack!

Yes, laundry is never-ending, but doing a load a day brings some sanity and satisfaction to my life.

What about you? What is the 1 household chore you try to do every day?

Until next time,


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Doing But Not Overdoing


This life we live involves a lot of doing. We do for ourselves. We do for others. We do big, and we do small. Maybe I should be a little more specific.

Life involves making choices, serving people, tending to our homes, taking care of our bodies, having a job, solving problems, and making friends. In any given week we may find ourselves making an appointment, reading a book, cleaning a floor, washing the dishes, visiting a friend, attending a meeting, making a meal, folding laundry, taking a walk, and shopping for groceries. Most on this list are things we have to do; some are things we want to do. Life involves a lot doing (as it should), but sometimes we do and do and do until we overdo.

Doing can quickly lead to overdoing. We want to be involved in our community but end up signing up for one too many committees. Being involved in our children’s school and it’s programs is important to us, but then we over-commit. We want our child to be well-rounded, but then we find that every evening and most Saturdays are filled with time in the car racing here and there.

Sometimes we overdo because it’s all we know. Sometimes we overdo because it’s what everyone around is doing. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re overdoing because we can become so easily accustomed to living this way.

Signs You Might Be Overdoing

  • You’re tired. Do you get to the end of the day completely exhausted?
  • You’re cranky. Are you easily frustrated and quick to snap at those around you?
  • You keep getting sick. Have you found that you are getting sick more frequently?
  • You are easily bothered by requests from others. Does a simple request from a friend or acquaintance frustrate and annoy you?

You might be tired, cranky, sick, and bothered by requests for a number of different reasons, but if one or more of these things are happening (with frequency) there is a chance you are overdoing.

Doing But Not Overdoing

I will always encourage you to do. The not so busy life is not about being lazy or sitting back and watching life pass you by. It’s not about being self-centered, only caring about you and only you.

I will always encourage you to do, but I will not encourage you to overdo.  A life of overdoing gets messy and tiring. A life of overdoing is chaotic and crazy.

Let’s do this life…but let’s not overdo!

What about you? How have you kept your self from overdoing?

Until next time,


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Quick Tip: Keep A Running List of Clothing Items You Need

I’m back with another quick tip!

Last week I took 15 minutes (and then another 15 minutes) to organize my bedroom closet. I took some time to remove a few unwanted items, so I want to be careful when considering the items I choose to add to my wardrobe. That leads me to today’s tip.



Today’s quick tip: Keep a running list of clothing items you need.

Sometimes we enter a store and end up doing a lot of mindless browsing and shopping. Yes, I know that can be fun! If you’re trying to streamline your wardrobe, though, and if you’re looking to save money and simplify things, keeping a list and referring to it is a simple solution!

Keep a list for you and one for your children. Update the list as you notice items that are needed. Grab that list and refer to it the next time you shop!

What about you? How do you keeping your shopping focused and budget-friendly? I would love to hear from you, so please drop me a comment below!

For more quick tips check out my previous posts here!

Until next time,



Easter Outfit Inspiration & Options

Easter is a little more than a month away. I like to plan ahead and buy the clothing items and accessories we need for that day’s celebration.

There are so many great options available for you and your kids, so I will be sharing a few great finds that might be good ideas for you or perhaps will simply serve as inspiration.


(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)

For You is a favorite option for unique pieces at great prices. Usually the items are only available for a few days, so the clothing I share might not be available for long. Check out some of my fun finds and browse around to see what you find for unique options!

Floral dresses are always fun! ($23.99)
Floral Dress / 3 Styles

A sweet, simple dress in a variety of colors! ($22.99)
Chloe Spring Dress

Update a current piece with a boho necklace! ($5.99)
Boho Necklace Blowout / 47 Styles

For Them

Gymboree is having 40% off the entire store and 50% off the Easter shop. Here is a sampling of what they have.

A sweet floral dress!
Floral Dress

Tulle & sequin!
Tulle Sequin Dress

Handsome gingham shirt!
Gingham Shirt

Sailboat bowtie!
Sailboat BowtieCrazy8 has free shipping this weekend.

Metallic braid sandal to complete an outfit!
metallic braid sandal

Seersucker Cap!


Gently-Used Options

I am always a fan of the gently-used option! thredUp & Schoola are two online stores specializing in second hand clothing. I have purchased from both numerous time, and I am continually pleased! You can find items for you and your children!




I purchased this LL Bean dress from thredUP for $14.99

Want to give thredUP a try? Click my link to receive a $10 credit towards your first purchase!


Want to give Schoola a try? Click my link to receive a $10 credit towards your first purchase!

What about you? Do you have any go-to stores or websites that you like to use when purchasing Easter clothing?

Until next time?